The Commerce Department’s addition of four entities to the export control Entity List highlights accelerated efforts to target companies providing cyber services to certain foreign governments—especially when human rights are at stake.
Brandon L. Van Grack is a partner and co-chair of the National Security and Crisis Management practices at Morrison & Foerster LLP. He is a former senior national security official at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as Chief of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit, Senior Assistant Special Counsel to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, Trial Attorney in the Counterintelligence & Export Control Section, and as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
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The deferred prosecution agreements for three members of Project Raven charged with hacking on behalf of a foreign government seem to set a precedent for lenient treatment for this type of conduct. In reality, the case signals that the U.S. Department of Justice intends to crack down on this type of conduct using every tool available.
The unprecedented intervention by CFIUS in a business transaction between two predominantly foreign companies demonstrates the growing scope in the jurisdiction of the committee.